FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
TUESDAY, APRIL 9, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SUES SFX ENTERTAINMENT FOR VIOLATING THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT AND DISCRIMINATING AGAINST INSULIN-USING DIABETICS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Justice Department today sued SFX Entertainment Inc. (SFX) over its policy prohibiting insulin-using diabetics from taking their medical supplies with them into concerts.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, alleges that SFX violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by establishing a policy barring diabetic supplies and enforcing it against two individuals who wished to take their diabetic supplies with them into a concert. The lawsuit alleges that individuals with diabetes, who require insulin and immediate access to their blood testing equipment and insulin, are forced by SFX's policy to choose between being barred from concerts or taking unreasonable health risks. The individual complainants have said they would never again go to a concert where they would be required to relinquish their diabetic supplies.
"Individuals with diabetes are entitled to attend and enjoy community events, like anyone else, without putting their lives at risk," said Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. "SFX's policy is unnecessary and reflects outdated fears about individuals with disabilities. Our goal is to foster integration of the disabled into society at large, and this suit will further that goal."
SFX Entertainment Inc. which does business as Clear Channel Entertainment, is the world's largest concert promoter. It owns, leases, or operates approximately 110 venues throughout the United States, which present concerts, sports events, and other live performances. Title III of the ADA prohibits public accommodations, such as concert venues, from discriminating against any individual on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of its goods, services, or facilities. SFX's policy violates the ADA because it denies individuals with diabetes equal access to and enjoyment of the concert.
Today's lawsuit was filed after efforts to negotiate a voluntary settlement failed. The lawsuit seeks to eliminate SFX's discriminatory policy and to insure that individuals with diabetes have an equal opportunity to attend and enjoy SFX concerts. The lawsuit also seeks compensatory damages for the individual complainants and civil penalties for the Department of Justice.
Those interested in finding out more about the ADA can call the Department's toll-free information line at (800) 514-0301, (800) 514-0383 (TDD) or access the ADA Home Page on the Department's internet site at: http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm.